Friday, June 22, 2007

The Sneaky Chef - A review

You want your kids to grow healthy. But they aren't eating their daily veggies. They just give a blunt 'No!' or sometimes, 'I don't like it', or sometimes even 'I hate veggies' or just leave it in their plate for you to wonder and wonder 'how on earth am I going to get this inside them' .....

Sometimes they go through phases of eating just peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for every meal.. And sometimes this phase goes longer than what a mom can take. So, you swallow your disappointment and try to cook it differently, more interestingly. You put a plate of fancy cut sandwiches and cute looking veggies and dips in front of them - all very colorful and keep your fingers and toes crossed- Does that work? NO! You try to tell them - Veggies are good, darling... If you eat them, you can grow as tall as 'Barney' or 'Diego' or whomever your kid fancies at the time... and then hope and pray that this works... - does it work?

Well, With some kids, some of these ploys work, but with most, it doesn't. So, what does a mom do? Sneak them!!! Yep, Missy Chase Lapine says 'sneak those veggies in the foods kids love'.

Ms.Lapine, the author of the best-seller 'The Sneaky Chef' comes to the rescue. She takes a list of the kid's favorite foods and takes another list of super foods and finds a way to sneak in the stuff from the second list to the first.. How does she sneak it in? She purees the veggies and sneaks them into brownies and pasta sauces and mac and cheese and other stuff...... Well, This idea has been there for a long time. Think of zucchini breads and carrot muffins. But I'd say she takes this approach a step further and have used it in foods that kids usually don't mind eating. She also suggests ways to make ahead a few purees and store them in the freezer for quicker cooking..

Some of her free recipes found in the web and from the Author's website.
Some may disagree with this approach... This isn't the right way to get the kids to eat their veggies. I beg to differ.. What's stopping us from keep trying to get them eat their veggies in the usual way, while also sneaking it into stuff they like. And when they start eating their veggies, you can always stop your sneaking in.

While I haven't had the chance to try these stuff on my kiddo yet (She's just 9 mo and eating what I stuff in her mouth) but if she grows up into the kind of kid who hates veggies, I wouldn't hesitate to try this approach.

Again, you don't have to use the ideas given in the book only for the recipes mentioned in the book.. Similar approach can be used for Indian cooking too... Making green dosas or colorful idlis or colored rice and parathas or rotis... etc In addition to increasing the nutrition quotient, you can also use veggies into giving color for food stuff without using the harmful chemical food colors. Take this idea and get creative.

A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. ;)

P.s. Not affiliated or associated with 'The Sneaky Chef' or 'Amazon.com' or any other links mentioned above.

9 comments:

Kodi's Mom said...

very neat, Kay! I totally agree - "a mom's got to do ..."
mine doesn't mind veggies yet but if he ever protests this is what he's going to get!

love the ideas, thanks for sharing the link...

Sandeepa said...

Ha ha loved the sneaking in. Mine minds veggies to some extent, like left on her own she will not eat veggies in steamed Amriki style lunch at school but she eats them when they are in a gravy with chicken or fish at home.

I think when we cook Indian way its easy to mask veggies in a khicdi or a dal. Also one of my friends used to make Rotis for her son with all the sabzis. She would make the normal sabzi for the family, then use some of it to roll with the dough to make a stuffed roti for the kid.

Asha said...

LOL @ sneaky chef! I think it's a fabulous idea to sneak and disguise veggies in any way.Although my kids are much older than your's .I still the sneaky thing sometime.I make soups with loads of veggies and puree them so they can't see chunky things.The only veg they eat is Broccoli with cheese sauce.I have to be very creative!:)
Do whatever it takes, and don't get bothered about what others say!Have fun Kay.

indosungod said...

The Sneaky Chef! like the title. The things we have to do to get the kiddos to eat right! The sneaky idea works for the grownup kids!! too lot of times.

Yup the Purple Paratha gets gobbled in a minute(well it seems that way) while the regular one takes an hour.

B o o said...

Thanks Kay for posting promptly. I can relax from my kneeling position now! ;) You know what? I have been sneaking veggies into foods my daughter likes to eat and all along feeling guilty for doing so and feeling bad that she was nt eating them as they are supposed to be eaten. Now I can relax after reading your post and be my usual sneaky self! Oh, how I love that! :) Thanks again. Do post more on this topic if you come across any info. Would love to read them. Ciao!

sunita said...

Sneaking does work...My daughter tends to pick the veggies in her pasta, so I puree them and add to the sauce and it disappears in a jiffy... as for rotis, I love adding veggies like spinach, which I run in the mixer and add to the flour while kneading along with grated carrots...but on the whole, till now, I'm quite lucky that they do not make that much of a fuss regarding most of the veggies ...I personally think that it should start right from a tender age and if needed, a little firmness(after all it's for their own good) should do the trick...and of course, one could always resort to sneaking...

Kavitha said...

Thanks guys!

IGS, you cant tell us about a yummy purple paratha that gets gobbled up in secs and leave us all wondering what went in that. :) Share pls?

indosungod said...

Kay, nothing fancy with the purple Parataha, just add grated beets, onions if you'd like a little bit of chilli powder and coarsely ground cumin seeds to the wheat flour and voila you have purple parathas. Just the color takes you far, even to this DD swears she loves the purple parathas but besides the color I don't see anything special there.

Kavitha said...

Hmmm... Great idea! :)

I've used beetroot to increase color and nutrition quotient for rasams (first, loved it at a friend's place), puris and rice, but parathas escaped me. Thanks IGS!

This gives me an idea for the next article - how to induce natural colors in foods so that it will appeal to children. Have some research to do as soon as we move. :)